Bumpy Bandipora roads crave for official attention

Greater Kashmir

Repair work will start soon: R&B Min

Bandipora, June 6: The condition of the roads around in this north Kashmir district has worsened during last few months due to heavy rains while the concerned Roads and Buildings department seems to be unable to initiate any road repair work in the area.
 Most of the roads are dotted with deep pits, potholes and uncovered drains, said the residents, adding, stretches of roads on the outskirts have their bitumen layer washed away and large craters developed at various places.
 What, however, makes this commentary depressing is that most of the roads were either repaired or re-laid just last year or never witnessed any repair for years together, locals said.
 Most of the roads like Gurdal-Malangam road, Nadihal-Sumlar road, Madar-Arin road, and Watapora-Leharwalpora road are an extremely testing experience to travel on.
 “Even pedestrians are finding it difficult to tread along many stretches like Bandipora-Nowpora main road leading to Deputy Commissioner’s office. The potholes on the roads turn into cesspools on slightest shower,” said Inam Qadir, a student from Nowpora.
 The condition of Arampora stretch of Ahiemsharief-Ayhtmulla road is dismal with water-logged potholes posing threat to two-wheeler riders. There are large potholes on the Panar-Athwatoo road also.
 Locals in Ahiemsharief informed that the digging of the same stretch of road multiple times by various agencies has led to the road developing an uneven surface with lots of bumps and craters.
  There were reports of cracks developing on the Sopore-Bandipora road near Khenusa link. However, the authorities from Engineering Reconstruction Agency (ERA) are yet to address this problem. 
 The areas in the vicinity of the Nowpora junction and Garoora on Bandipora-Srinagar road have virtually become death-traps owing to large craters at various places. The areas have become prone to accidents.
 The stretch of Gurdal-Malangam road is another instance of poor maintenance of roads by the agencies concerned.
 Expressing anguish over the poor quality of roads, secretary Civil Society Bandipora, Saleem Ahmed, said: “A part of Sopore-Bandipora road has been washed away by the rains despite the road being blacktopped in November last. Not only was the timing wrong, the work too didn’t conform to the specifications indicating that it was not done scientifically.”
 Pointing out to a stretch of Madar-Arin, Shabir Ahmed, a local said the road repairing work was left halfway by PWD.
 “The work done last year is completely insufficient; vehicles often skid off the roads. People responsible for this shoddy work, thereby endangering lives of the public and wasting public fund, must be dealt with an iron hand,” Shabir Ahmed added.
  The Nadihal-Sumlar road also lies in pathetic condition. Travelling on the Srinagar-Bandipora road, particularly near Saderkoot, Garoora and Nadihal, is becoming a nightmarish experience for commuters. “The road turns out to be dangerous when it is water logged. I have many a time landed into large potholes while driving my car,” Abdul Majeed Lone, an employee of Civil Secretariat said.
 Locals said that the inner roads connecting villages to town have not been repaired or re-carpeted since ages.
 Residents say the government agencies are abysmally slow in finishing the repair work. “They can’t do even the most basic things like road repairs properly and finish it on time. The procedural delays in civic work are just testing our patience,” they said.
 PWD officials, when contacted, came out with their usual common refrain. “It’s the heavy rains that have taken a toll on the roads,” they said.
 Minster for Roads and Buildings, Abdul Majeed Wani told Greater Kashmir that all the roads will be repaired as the funds have been allotted for the same.
 “Within one week, the work on all inner link roads will be initiated in the entire district. The outer main roads are being maintained by BRO which too has received funds, they might have started the work, Wani added.